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Men's Hoops Notes: Wildcats tumble in polls

CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Channing Frye finds himself trapped between Washington's Bobby Jones (15) and Mike Jensen (42) during the second half of Arizona's game against Washington Saturday.
By Roman Veytsman
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, March 1, 2005
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The loss at Washington and the narrow win over Washington State last week dropped the Arizona men's basketball team (24-5, 14-3 Pac-10) to No. 11 in both major polls, three spots down in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and two spots down in The Associated Press poll.

Arizona now has a half-game lead on Washington (23-4, 13-3) in the race for the Pacific 10 Conference title, with one game remaining, while the Huskies still play two more games. Washington moved ahead of the Wildcats to No. 10 in both polls, despite splitting the season series, with each team winning at home.

Arizona plays on the road in Tempe against in-state rival ASU, while the Huskies will travel to the Bay Area to play California and Stanford.

"They have two to go, and we have one, so it will be an interesting last week," said Arizona head coach Lute Olson.

Pac-10 tiebreakers

In case Washington and Arizona each finish with the same Pac-10 record and since the two split their season series, the tiebreaker will be the comparative record against the next finisher in the Pac-10 standings.

If Stanford finishes third, the No. 1 seed in the Pac-10 tournament could go to Washington because they have already beat the Cardinal with one game remaining against them, while the Wildcats split with Stanford. If UCLA finishes third, the Wildcats would get the No. 1 seed because they swept the Bruins and Washington split with them.

"We're still playing for a Pac-10 championship, aren't we?" said senior center Channing Frye. "We were playing one of the best teams in the country, and I think we have a lot of work to do still."

Olson still waiting for Wooden-beating win

Lute Olson didn't get a chance to break the record for Pac-10 wins last week, but he will have one more shot at it this year against the Sun Devils. Olson is 304-87 all time in the Pac-10 and is second only to former UCLA coach John Wooden in winning percentage.

Mistakes lead to tough practices this week

Defensive lapses and offensive miscues did not go unnoticed by the coaching staff, and practice throughout the week will likely be tougher than usual, according to Frye.

"There's many examples where we had them on a run, and they would get a bucket," assistant coach Josh Pastner said. "We can't let them have that."

"Practice will be pretty rough on Monday and Tuesday," Frye said. "I think we should take it one practice at a time and just work as hard in the game."

One of the things they need to change for the next game against Washington is "taking care of the ball better," according to sophomore guard Mustafa Shakur.

Cats' shooting, defense suspect against Huskies

The Wildcats have not shot worse from the free-throw line all season than the 5-for-11 they shot in the Washington game.

Arizona also allowed a season-high 93 points, while allowing the Huskies to shoot 65.4 percent in the second half.

"They just hit big shots every time or getting a key rebound or putback," Shakur said.

Arizona also shot just 26.1 percent from 3-point range compared to the Huskies' 45.8 percent.

"They played well, but we didn't play as well as we could have played well," Shakur added.

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